Double-dealing deity

I was surprised to read in the NYT yesterday that all the land of Palestine is waqf, given by God exclusively to the Muslim Arabs in perpetuity. No doubt the Hamas legal team has convincing scriptural evidence of this deed. But Jewish settlers have equally convincing evidence that God gave all that land to them, exclusively and in perpetuity.

This is not the first sign of the deity's duplicitousness. Jack Miles in God: A Biography (New York: Vintage Books,1995), points out how contradictory & unpredictable he is in the Tanakh (Hebrew Old Testament), undoubtedly because he is a synthesis of many earlier Mesopotamian gods & goddesses. He can be benevolent, cruel, petty, deceptive (he lies to Eve and Adam, saying they will immediately die if they eat the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge); he can be bargained with (e.g., by Abraham); then at the end of the Tanakh (which, unlike the Christian version, puts the prophets before "the writings," Psalms through Chronicles) he falls silent.

What fools they be who say "In God we trust." Eve not only survived, she multiplied (boy, did she multiply!). And the fruit of the tree of knowledge is all that can save us. We should all take another bite.

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